Report: Google offers to 'brand' search results in Euro antitrust probe
Horse-trading continues down at Choc Factory ranch
Google is continuing to try to convince the European Commission not to proceed in taking formal action against the company's alleged "abuse of dominance" in the search market – by reportedly offering to brand its web search results.
According to the Financial Times, which cites sources familiar with Google's package of concessions submitted to competition officials in Brussels, Mountain View is proposing to add its corporate stamp to products such as maps, airline flight details and other services that appear when netizens use the firm's search function.
The move is unlikely to be greeted with anything but hostility from Google's rivals, however, who have long argued that the company favours its own search products over those of its competitors.
In September, Google was warned by the EC's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia that it could still be slapped with massive fines if it was found to have violated competition rules in Europe. At the time, the commissioner confirmed he was yet to be satisfied by the apparent concessions proposed by Google. ®
A further two points (although mine are rediculous)
1: Why should google be punished for advertising its own tech when you have magazines in stores saying. "We vote XXX product as the best thing ever" followed by tiny print 17 pages later of "this magazine is sponsored by XXX product" surely that's far worse (and still pretty common, especially womens mags)
2: Haven't Apple locked out every other possible market from the iPhone via the app store? Certainly that is also far more anti-competition than google displaying free search results.
Re: "abuse of dominance"?
It's not a crime in the UK as such, but abuse of dominance in a market is prohibited by law in the EU, UK, US and pretty much every other developed country and has been for well over a decade. Developing countries have also been getting in on the act, having woken up to the damage that a monopolist can do. The gigantic level of fine (up to 10% of turnover in the EU) for doing it has also been in place for years.
@heyrick - Re: @Alister
" if you have a good product that answers the question the user asked, why not promote it?"
Because if you can put your product at the top of the search rankings it doesn't matter if it's a "good product" or not.
Why do you think some people are always trying to game their way up to the top of the google rankings? Answer: Because if you can get the first position (or be in the top three) you're *much* more likely to get someone clicking on your result. Of course if you get caught gaming the results, you'll get knocked down the rankings...
... unless, of course, you're Google...